Considering rock radio’s aversion to anything instrumental, Rodrigo y Gabriela’s crossover success is an unlikely triumph. Both members are extremely gifted guitarists, but it’s their fusion of Spanish and Latin styles with rock, metal, jazz and prog that makes them palatable to an audience beyond Guitar World subscribers.
Each track is dedicated to and inspired by a musician or band. Some tunes, like the Carlos Santana-inspired Hanuman, don’t seem like much of a stretch, while others, like the Dimebag Darrell-dedicated Atman, show how far their influences reach. The conceit also lends diversity to an occasionally monotonous album, though 11:11’s success comes primarily from the duo’s composition skills. They squeeze out so many simultaneous leads, rhythms and percussion patterns, you’ll wonder how it’s all coming from two acoustic guitars.
Top track: Buster Voodoo
Rodrigo y Gabriela play the Phoenix, Friday (March 5).